Rhine & Rhône Revealed - Cruise Only Southbound River Cruise (WAL0)
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River Cruise Description
Enrich yourself with French and German culture on this incredible 2019 15 Day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Arles vacation across the Rhine, Saône, and Rhône Rivers. Relax and enjoy breathtaking views as you sail across the waters from Amsterdam to Arles on this romantic and majestic getaway.
Begin your journey in the famous capital of Amsterdam in Holland. A favorite way to get a look at some of the gems this 700-year-old city has to offer is by way of canal cruise along the exquisite Grachten. Cologne, Germany—a 2,000-year-old city which boasts its gothic buildings and architecture and famed twin-spired cathedral, ignites with beauty on a guided tour on foot. Cruise through the waters of the thrilling Rhine Gorge, lined with romantic green scenery and glittering blue waves, which fames itself as the most enchanting span of the Rhine River as each mile is spotted with castles every stretch of the way. Located on the French-German border sits Strasbourg, France, which brilliantly combines the cultures of both countries. Take a walk through the illustrious district of La Petite France with its charming shops, exquisite bistros, and serene waterfront promenade. Visit Breisach, Germany, known as the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—a stretch of unmatched allure, beaming with natural beauty—famed for its namesake, Black Forest ham, its cuckoo clocks, and cherry cake.
Experience the astounding exhibit of medieval and Renaissance architecture in Lyon, the gastronomical capital of France most known for its fine delicacies and study of cuisine. Stroll through the Old Town, accredited as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its array of medieval alleyways. Let your journey continue on to the twin cities of Tournon and Tain I’Hermitage located gracefully among the vineyards. Here, a tour guide waits to take you on a walk-through of Tournon—a historic gem with an intriguing 16th-century castle and ancient Roman ruins. Stop at the Palace of the Popes in Avignon and capture the picturesque bridge ascribed in the famous song “Sur le pont d’Avignon.” Let this momentous Europe river cruise take you to tour Arles, the capital of the Provence region and most-known for the 1st-century Roman Amphitheater it inhabits, which entertains concerts and plays still today.
Enjoy the breathtaking sights and landmarks of France and Germany as you sail across the Rhine, Saône, and Rhône Rivers and cruise into a world of historic culture and enjoyment. There will not be any dull moments along this 2019 15 Day Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Arles.
River Cruise Promos
FLY FREE AIR from Select US citiesFly Free from select U.S. cities on select 2020Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises.
Book a select 2019 or 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive free round-trip economy class trans-Atlantic air from ATL, BOS, BWI, CLE, CLT, DEN, DFW, DTW, EWR, IAD, IAH, JFK, LAX, MCI, MIA, MCO, MSP, ORD, PDX, PHL, PHX, PIT, RDU, SAN, SEA, SFO, SLC, STL, TPA. Other gateway cities available from $200 to $1,075/person additional (inclusive of taxes/fees). Free air offer is based on lowest-priced economy class Flex airfare available for booking at time of reservation and scheduled to coincide with cruise itinerary; pre-assigned airline seats are limited and may not be available on all air segments. Alternate schedules may be available at an additional cost. Must be booked & under deposit between May 1 - November 4, 2019
|Departure Date||Ship||Priced From|
|Oct 15, 2019||Avalon Expression, Avalon Poetry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
|Oct 29, 2019||Avalon Expression, Avalon Poetry II||Waitlist||Call Us!|
River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation)
Welcome to beautiful Amsterdam! You’ll marvel at Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital, which has a rich and fascinating history. This sensational 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, bustling cafés, and popular local restaurants presents a distinct ambiance. The streets, town squares, and busy canals – not to mention the bike paths throughout the city – make for a dynamic atmosphere, and with more than 60 museums, it’s no wonder that Amsterdam boasts the highest museum density in the world. Perhaps you would like to join an optional excursion to charming Zaanse Schans with its traditional houses and Dutch craft workshops. This afternoon, you’ll board your river cruise ship and meet your friendly crew at a casual evening welcome reception. (Dinner) *NOTE: Flights into Amsterdam must arrive by 2 pm, and guests must be onboard ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Amsterdam
The very best way to really see Amsterdam is by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with charming homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” You can enjoy some free time in this fascinating city during the afternoon. Later, bid tot ziens (farewell) to Holland as you cruise toward Germany. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3 Cologne, Germany
Today, you’ll enjoy a tranquil morning of cruising before reaching charming Cologne in the afternoon. One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine River and is known for its elegant towering, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. You may choose between an included GUIDED CITY WALK or JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The historic Old Town abounds with bustling cafés, charming shops, and festive taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for more than a hundred years! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Koblenz – Rhine Gorge – Rüdesheim
Historic Koblenz is situated where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet. This 2,000-year-old city is the cultural and business center of the Middle Rhine region. Here, you’ll join a friendly Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the city that reveals an eventful past through its majestic castles, imposing fortress walls, lofty towers, impressive squares, and stately monuments. The sensational RHINE GORGE is the most beautiful stretch of river, with ancient castles standing as sentries on the towering cliffs that rise 400 feet above the waters. You’ll cruise past the famous rock of the Lorelei, where it is said that echoes of enchanted siren song lured unsuspecting sailors to their doom. In beautiful Rüdesheim, the ultimate Rhine Valley wine town, you’ll visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a fascinating collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. You’ll enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT before returning to your cruise ship for a relaxing dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Mainz. Excursion to Heidelberg
Charming Mainz is strategically situated where the picturesque Rhine and Main Rivers meet, with evidence of “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this represents Germany’s largest and most important wine market. You’ll join your Local Guide for a GUIDED WALK through the historic Altstadt (Old Town) with its many intriguing shops and the fanciful Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at Mainz’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and you’ll visit the fascinating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. After a great lunch, you’ll travel to historic Heidelberg, known for having the oldest university in Germany. With a friendly LOCAL GUIDE, you’ll visit the impressive ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, which tower magnificently over the city. It is considered among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famous GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the gargantuan cask holds more than 58,000 gallons of wine and even has a well-worn dance floor built on top of it! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Strasbourg, France
Charming Strasbourg is situated on the border of France and Germany. It is known to blend the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the famous Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, which has managed to retain its historic charm. On your fantastic GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR, you’ll visit the awesome red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its fabulous ancient murals, stunning stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the enchanting LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to beautiful half-timbered houses, quaint shops, bustling bistros, and a fascinating waterfront promenade. You’ll also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the center of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the famous inventor of the printing press. An optional excursion into the charming Alsace wine country is available today. After a relaxing dinner tonight, you’ll enjoy a fascinating onboard WOODCARVING demonstration. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Breisach, Germany. Excursion to the Black Forest
Breisach, Germany, situated at the foot of majestic Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, is the gateway to Germany’s famous BLACK FOREST region. You’ll enjoy an excursion to the Black Forest, an area of unrivaled natural beauty with its thick pine tree forests. The region got its name from the local residents because the forests are so dense that they described them as black. Surely the most well known products from this region are good tasting Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and intricate cuckoo clocks. You may decide to visit the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other creative carvings, or you might like to visit the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how real life was lived in this region centuries ago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Basel, Switzerland (Disembarkation)–Beaune, France–St. Jean de Losne (Embarkation)–Seurre
After a wonderful breakfast, say goodbye to your faithful crew of the Avalon Tranquility II, and cross the border into France, and head by motor coach to beautiful Beaune, the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Or area and Burgundy’s fine wine capital. Beaune owes its wealth to the successful production, aging, and selling of fine wines. Although life here centers around wine, Beaune offers much more with its ramparts, historic medieval houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and stately monuments. You’ll visit the impressive HÔTEL-DIEU charity hospital, built in 1443 and paid for by the chancellor of Burgundy after the exhausting Hundred Years’ War left many of the town’s population destitute. Today it houses the world-famous painting of Van der Weyden’s – “The Last Judgment” – and is one of France’s architectural highlights. You’ll continue to charming St. Jean de Losne, where you’ll board the fascinating Avalon Poetry II. Before dinner, you’ll meet your friendly crew at a casual welcome reception as your ship cruises toward intriguing Seurre. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Seurre–Macon
You’ll enjoy some peaceful cruising today and before lunch, you will be treated to a delicious ONBOARD CHEESE TASTING. In the late afternoon, you’ll arrive in charming Mâcon, a city that plays an important role in the lucrative wine trade. Free time allows you to explore more of this intriguing city on your own. Or, you may choose to participate in one of the optional excursions being offered, such as a visit to a popular local wine cellar. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10 Lyon
France’s third-largest city and its culinary capital, Lyon, was founded by the ancient Romans in 43 BC. The city’s economic prosperity dates back to the 16th century and is credited to extremely successful commercial, industrial, and banking activities. Ancient Roman remains, many extravagant museums, and impressive renaissance architecture delight visitors. You’ll be joined by a LOCAL GUIDE as you enjoy the city from the vantage point of scenic Fourvière Hill – with its splendid views overlooking the city – and you’ll explore quaint Old Town with its maze of narrow medieval alleyways and festive Place des Terreaux, a popular area with bustling cafés, stately monuments, and the famous fountain often depicted on postcards. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dutch)
Day 11 Lyon
You’ll enjoy a free day to explore more of fascinating Lyon at your leisure. If you are an early riser, you might like to visit the local produce market. Perhaps you’ll stroll through one of Lyon’s fabulous parks, discover some of the magnificent murals (there are more than 100), or select one of the available optional excursions. Be sure to taste the culinary delights and sample Beaujolais, the fine wine produced in the region; wine connoisseurs know the mature wine grapes must be harvested by hand. Your Cruise Director will have more suggestions of exciting things to do during your visit. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Viviers
The fabulous twin cities of Tournon and Tain l’Hermitage are situated, nestled among the lush grape vineyards between the scenic Rhône River and the magnificent granite slopes of the Hermitage. You’ll enjoy A LOCAL GUIDE showing you the quaint city of Tournon, one of France’s oldest medieval cities, with its impressive 16th-century castle and ancient Roman ruins. You’ll arrive in charming Viviers in the afternoon. An included GUIDED WALK shows you this fascinating village that developed around its elegant ROMANESQUE CATHEDRAL. The historic OLD TOWN has an appealing mix of Christian, Roman, and medieval influences. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Avignon
The fortified city of Avignon is the capital of the scenic Vaucluse region – the most picturesque part of Provence with its intact ramparts encircling the entire city, narrow cobblestone streets and bustling city squares, and fabulous private mansions built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Known as the “City of Popes,” Avignon was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century. Your GUIDED TOUR includes a visit of the extravagant PALACE OF THE POPES, built in the 14th century as the sovereign popes’ fascinating residence. Don’t miss taking a photograph of the famous Pont Saint Bénezet (Saint Bénezet Bridge), from the popular song, “Sur le Pont d’Avignon,” is a must. Optional outings to impressive Pont du Gard or to the alluring wine cellars of famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape are available. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Arles
This morning, you’ll awake early to the peaceful vistas of amazing Camargue National Park (daylight permitting) before arriving in Arles after a wonderful breakfast. Situated on the northern tip of the Camargue, charming Arles is capital of the Provence region. Your friendly LOCAL GUIDE will show you must-see features of the city and you’ll visit the historic ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Still used today, it dates to the 1st century and was constructed to hold more than 20,000 spectators. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Arles (Disembarkation)
Although your vacation ends this morning with a wonderful breakfast, we hope this fabulous 15-day cruise experience leaves you with a wealth of great memories and some amazing photographs of your fabulous journey to share with loved ones back home. (Breakfast)
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